Apple and Disney have suspended online advertising efforts on X, previously Twitter, after owner Elon Musk claimed he agreed with a social network post accusing “Jewish communities” of inciting “hatred against whites,” according to individuals aware of both firms’ activities.
According to business representatives, Warner Bros Discovery, Paramount Global, and Lions Gate Entertainment are also pausing advertisements on the social networking app. Furthermore, Comcast, which owns Bravo and Xfinity and is also the parent company of CNBC, said on Friday that it is suspending its online advertising efforts on the real-time messaging service.
Axios broke the news of Apple’s action first, while The New York Times broke the news about Disney’s.
In a study released this week by the nonprofit group Media Matters for America, the iPhone manufacturer was singled out as one of a handful of large corporations, including IBM, Bravo, Oracle, and Infinity, whose online X commercials were featured next to “content that touts Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party.”
According to an IBM spokeswoman, the computer giant will suspend its internet advertising activities for X: “IBM has zero tolerance for hate speech and discrimination and we have instantly suspended all advertising on X while we analyze this entirely unacceptable situation.”
In reaction to Musk’s recent actions, a coalition of 163 Jewish leaders, activists, and academics spanning both major political parties published a statement this week, urging companies such as Apple, Disney, and Amazon “to stop funding X through their ad spend.”
The X Out Hate organization first urged those companies to halt their online advertising campaigns on X in September, when Musk implied that he would file a defamation lawsuit against the Anti-Defamation League, claiming that the ADL was “trying to take down this platform by intentionally accusing it & me of being anti-Semitic.”
At the time, ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt described Musk’s recent contentious X tweets as a “threat of a frivolous lawsuit.” Greenblatt also condemned Musk’s recent controversial X posts this week.
“It was nearly two months that we initially put out our call for large advertisers like Apple, Amazon, Google, and Disney not to continue funneling money onto X as antisemitism expands on the platform,” the leaders of the Jewish community said in a fresh statement. “There has been no change. Except for the risk that Jews face.”
Also on Friday, the White House openly chastised Musk for his remarks. According to White House spokesperson Andrew Bates, it is “unacceptable” to “repeat the hideous lie behind the most fatal incident of Antisemitism in American history at any time.” Bates appeared to be alluding to the mass shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue in 2018, in which 11 people were killed by a shooter who voiced support for the antisemitic “white genocide” conspiracy theory.
Musk also addressed the advertising outcry via his X messaging program on Friday.
“As I mentioned earlier this week, terms like “decolonization,” “from the river to the sea,” and other synonyms imply genocide,” Musk wrote. “Clear calls for violent behavior are against our terms of service and will result in suspension.”
In an X post, Greenblatt commented, “This is an important and welcome move by @elonmusk.”
“I appreciate this leadership in fighting hate,” Greenblatt added.
Musk addressed the possibility that his X postings may be regarded as provocative during an interview with CNBC’s David Faber in May, but he dismissed such worries.